Can a Spouse Apply for a VA Loan?

by Ronald Kimmons ; Updated July 27, 2017

People who have given years of their lives to serve their country are eligible to receive a number of federal benefits. Most of these benefits are also available for family members of veterans, especially in cases in which a veteran has died after serving or while serving. As a surviving spouse of a deceased veteran, you may be eligible to apply for a VA loan and finance your house.

VA Home Loan

A VA home loan is not actually a loan that the Department of Veterans Affairs gives you. Rather, the VA home loan is a guaranty program for loans issued by other parties. When you apply for a VA loan, the Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees your loan up to a certain amount. Should you become unable to make payments on your loan, your lender is protected against loss up to the amount guaranteed by the VA office. This helps you to get approved for home loans more easily, and it also helps you to get better deals when negotiating interest rates.

VA Loan for Spouses

As a spouse of a deceased veteran, you are eligible to apply for a VA loan to help you finance your own house. If your veteran spouse is still living, only she can apply for the loan. If your veteran spouse dies without applying for this loan, you can do so, based on her time of service. If your spouse was approved for a VA loan but then passed away, you may be able to qualify for a reduction of your mortgage interest.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a VA loan as a spouse of a deceased veteran, you or your deceased spouse must have met certain conditions. Generally, your spouse must have served during a period of war for at least 90 consecutive days or for at least 180 days if he served during peace time. If your spouse dies after service, he must have received an honorable discharge. If he died during service, he must have been eligible to receive an honorable discharge. You may also be eligible for this loan if your spouse is alive but is a prisoner of war or is missing in action. You will not be eligible if you have remarried. For more details on eligibility, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs website.

Application

To apply for the VA home loan, you must first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility. As a spouse, you apply for this certificate by filling out VA Form 26-1817. You are required to send this form by mail to the VA eligibility center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Once you receive this certificate, you use it to show your lender that you are eligible for a VA home loan. You must find an approved VA lender and be pre-approved for the loan through a normal mortgage loan processes.

About the Author

Ronald Kimmons has been a professional writer and translator since 2006, with writings appearing in publications such as "Chinese Literature Today." He studied at Brigham Young University as an undergraduate, getting a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese.